Well, that’s a year of Soo Bahk Do training under our belts in Oxfordshire at Dojang X!
In this article, we share key highlights across the club so that we can all join in with the celebrations!
Note from the Instructor
What a year 2023 has been!
We entered January with two classes (Abingdon and Culham).
Now closing for the festive holidays in December 2023, our popularity has spread to serve locals in Abingdon and more surrounding villages!
As the only place in Oxfordshire that offers the traditional Korean martial art of Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan®, it’s really great to have you train with us and make your mark in our organisation.
What makes Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan® different from other martial arts styles is the focus on three main elements: physical, mental and spiritual.
The physical includes: increasing athleticism of our members and self defence skills.
For the mental, this includes: adopting a growth mentality to push oneself past the inner voice that often holds us back, along with cultivating perseverance, focus and leadership skills.
The spiritual dimension forms over time with patience in the process. Our traditional Eastern philosophy is taught and fused within our training practice. We learn how to navigate internal and external conflicts and achieve a greater sense of personal wellness for life.
All of the above is consolidated for personal development.
In other words: we train at Dojang X to improve ourselves to succeed in our goals and in life, promote longevity of our body and mind and are positive role models in society.
As the Instructor, it’s been wonderful to watch how each student has grown over their time training at Dojang X this year.
Well done for all your hard work and effort. Also a big thanks to parents, family and friends for their support that makes your journey possible.
Let’s congratulate each other and read on for our Club highlights!
Dojang X Martial Arts: Little Ninjas
Our youngest martial artists have an amazing amount of energy, curiosity and an inspirational can-do attitude!
Our Little Ninjas club was launched in January 2023 to provide an early level introduction into Soo Bahk Do, whilst forming positive habits about fitness being fun yet challenging.
At this class, our students also develop their focus, respect for rules and patience.
Just before the summer holidays, our Little Ninjas successfully completed their first grading.
Classes recommenced when schools re-opened. We had a few more young students join us. Some from before the summer continued their class attendance. They trained with great effort to achieve a second rank promotion through showing good stances in basic Soo Bahk Do movements and sparring drills!
Here’s Freddie and Ella – two who celebrate nearly a year of training with Dojang X!
Some of our Little Ninjas progressed to older classes during this year. They are making great progress towards their March 2024 target for their yellow belt rank in the main system.
Our young martial artists are definitely some to watch out for in 2024! They already understand some Korean numbers, have started to hold the front stance, and know how to make different types of punches and kicks that are taught for the beginner level older classes.
In short: the Little Ninjas have definately surpassed my expectations for this year!
Dojang X Martial Arts: Kids Class
Our kids class was created in September 2023 to cater to the bespoke needs of 6-12yr olds – especially those who come to train by themselves. This class combines fun and fitness-focused drills that are better suited to this age group with our martial arts syllabus.
In our December 2023 grading, three students from our kids class were grading candidates.
Each demonstrated great courage and effort.
We await the results to be announced in January 2024!
For now, here’s one of our kids class students (and excellent at sparring), Henri. He successfully achieved his rank promotion earlier this year when he was training in the mixed class:
Dojang X Martial Arts: Mixed Class
Our mixed aged class caters for anyone 6+ including teens and adults. In this class, many students are family members who share the martial arts journey together!
The beauty of learning Soo Bahk Do together is that the learning process is the same for everyone regardless of age. We celebrate our breakthroughs and achievements whilst having the empathy from first-hand experience to support one another overcome their challenges.
A good number of students from these classes did grade for rank promotion at different times earlier this year. They have shown amazing effort and commitment to their personal development and discipline to uphold the core values of our club and martial art.
Here’s a photo of our students literally jumping into action during the September grading:
And a compilation of successful grading results!
Martial Arts Youth Leadership at Dojang X
At Dojang X, we’re big on personal development and creating positive leaders for life. There’s many opportunities available for anyone interested in developing themselves to supporting the Dojang.
Jack, for example, a teenager in our mixed class, has stepped up to take on more responsibility to learn how to teach. Teaching is a great way to improve one’s confidence, public speaking skills, communication skills and test yourself about what you know!
He’s taken several warm ups since September and has attended some kids classes to gain more experience.
Here’s Jack leading a warm up (he was also our quiz master at the Christmas social!):
We also have Chansroop, who’s consistently displayed great leadership skills since he first started with us shortly after our first ever class launched!
Chansroop has been a great asset to our Club through volunteering his time to participate in demonstrations and assist with taster sessions. He’s also shown amazing courage to assist the lower ranks for their gradings, lead warm ups in Korean and support other students when asked.
And guess what?
He’s only turned 10 years old!
As you can see, we offer much more than simply teaching martial arts to obtain a new belt. Your Instructor is here to mentor, support and encourage everyone to make the most of life’s opportunities. Each student’s journey is unique – so please speak with me and we’ll see what we can offer.
Dojang X travels the world!
It’s started! Our own little traditions!
Dojang X members leave their martial arts mark wherever they go.
Here’s a few:
We also visited the Paris Dojang of France Moo Duk Kwan in November. During this time, we learned from and trained with our European neighbours!
December 2023 marked our first club festive social! We had a great turn out, great food in our very own private room, and fun entertainment with a Christmas quiz.
Congratulations to Kirsty who won the tie-break decider to take 1st place. She won by counting and answering the maths sum in Korean!
Instructor becomes 3rd Dan in Soo Bahk Do
Between delivering martial arts classes at Dojang X, attending her own training in Preston, and home training, Instructor Sabrina Mistry tested for (and passed) her 3rd Dan rank promotion earlier this year.
If she plans to test again (after many years have passed to meet the requirement) the next rank will be for Master, in S. Korea.
That’s a wrap!
We’ve achieved a lot this year and I’m so proud of all our members and the gains that each have made since starting with Dojang X!
In 2024, we’ll be offering more socials for Club members to get to hang out, along with more fun activities and youth leadership projects – so stay tuned!
We’re always welcoming new members to be part of our awesome Club. So please let us know if we can support any other locals looking to start their martial arts journey!